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HomeMediaMedia releasesMedia Releases 2013Quick rise to top earns Mount Isa woman top resources sector award - Queensland Resources Council

Quick rise to top earns Mount Isa woman top resources sector award

8 March 2013

Just 27 years old and already Acting Metallurgy Manager for Xstrata Copper's Mount Isa Copper Smelter, Lucya Yunus' fast rise through the ranks has earned her the 'Rising Star' award in the prestigious Queensland Resources Council's Resources Awards for Women.

Born in Indonesia and completing her secondary schooling in Singapore, where she also learnt to speak English, Lucya immigrated to Australia to attend university.

A practical placement at the Boyne Aluminium Smelter on Boyne Island in Gladstone gave Lucya her first taste of the resources sector before being accepted into the Xstrata Mount Isa Mines Graduate Program in 2009 where she quickly rose through the ranks to her current role, the most senior role in the company at an operational level.

‘I have found that the industry is less concerned about who you are or whether you’re a man or a woman, and more interested in how capable you are and the skills you have to offer,' said Lucya.

'While working in this industry can be challenging, I have never considered the fact that I am a woman as detrimental to my career in mining.’

The award recognises exceptional achievement by a woman who has worked in the Queensland resources sector from one to five years, in any occupation; is breaking new ground for women, is on the rise in their company/organisation, has made a significant contribution to their organisation/company and/or the resources sector and has made a direct or indirect contribution to the advancement of women in resources through being a role model or mentor.

Queensland Resources Council Chief Executive Michael Roche says the awards, which lift the profile of women in the minerals and energy sector and provide a cohort of female industry ambassadors, are part of the QRC's plan to increase the proportion of women in 'non-traditional' roles in the resources sector to 20 percent by 2020.

'The good news is that the most recent survey of QRC members shows that we are on track to reach our target,' said Mr Roche.

'Our 2011-12 survey shows that women make up just under 12 percent of 'non-traditional' roles, such as engineers, geologists, trades and senior management, up from 11 percent the previous year.

'The proportion of women across all occupations is 14 percent, up from 13 percent in 2010-11.

'It's particularly pleasing to see a one percent increase in female senior managers to 14 percent, and Yunus is a fine example of why women are climbing up the ranks of our companies.

'And, women in trades increased from two to three percent, though obviously there is still a long way to go in this area also.

While our statistics continue to trend upwards, we know that we need to keep a sharp focus on measures to ensure that the resources sector is attractive to women, and provides a working environment that encourages them to stay.'

The awards were presented today by the Assistant Minister for Natural Resources and Mines Lisa France, QRC President Stephen Dumble and Chair of Women in Mining and Resources Queensland Jules Blunt.

The QRC also released its latest statistics on gender diversity in the resources sector. Click the link below.

Full list of winners:

Overall
Winner: Heather Bell Rio Tinto Coal Australia (Brisbane)
Runner up: Andrea Rutley Anglo American (Brisbane)

Rising Star
Winner: Lucya Yunus Xstrata Copper (Mount Isa)
Runner Up: Kate Brand (Brisbane)

Trade
Winner: Tamara Bellinger Xstrata Copper (Mount Isa)
Highly Commended: Karla Draper Thiess (Inglewood); Nikita Mason BMA (Moranbah); Sandii Rixon BHP Billiton (Poitrel Mine/Brisbane – FIFO)

Operator
Winner: Myf Szepanowski Anglo American Callide Mine (Boundary Hill)
Runner up: Elisha Wesser BMA (Mount Julian)

Gender Diversity Champion
Joint Winners: Rebecca Capper Anglo American (Brisbane); Tash Fee TNT Training Solutions (Calliope)

Best Company Initiative
Winner: Xstrata Mount Isa Mines
Highly Commended: Parsons Brinkerhoff


Further information and photos: Caroline Morrissey 0417 770 893

Winning Women - Leading Practice Principles for the Attraction nd Retention of Women in the Minerals and Energy Sector. Seventh edition March 2013